By Gail Paschall-Brown
ORANGE COUNTY, Florida (WESH) -- It was a packed house inside Tuesday night’s Orange County school board meeting as students, former students, parents and groups spoke out primarily about the cancellation of Drag and Donuts last month at Boone High. The event was canceled after a call from the State Board of Education.
Some attendees protested anti-gay legislation and stood up for LGBTQ rights. And others spoke out supporting the move to cancel the event.
“Grown men dressed up as women have no place on OCPS campuses,” one speaker said.
"A drag queen can come on campus, OK, so what? We have drag queens, we have a loving community, and just because you don't understand that doesn't mean anything,” another person said.
Forty speakers took to the podium with one minute each to respond. The students also urged the district to stop book banning. Demonstrators say hate has no home here.
"When I was a student, we did not have to deal with the same things that these kids are doing, so for them to come out here and take time out of their day and stand up for what they believe in, it's inspiring and it makes me have hope for the future,” supporter Brendan Moran said.
Some students say many more protests like this will continue. They will be seen. They will be heard, they say, and they will represent.
"It's going to get worse before it gets better, but we are the next generation of leaders and sooner than you know we will be the people in that room making decisions,” said Will Larkins, a Winter Park High School student.
Normally, speakers are allotted three minutes to speak but because there were so many, time was cut to a minute.
Afterward, the students came out, spoke, and took as long as they wanted.
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